Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says

May 24, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: May 25, 2022, 8:24 am
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)...
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)
(Photo courtesy of Jonathan Lines)

PHOENIX — A Friday ruling that kept Title 42 in place brought some temporary relief, but a Yuma County supervisor said the border community continues to deal with an influx of migrants that want to come to the United States.

“Well, the Biden red carpet is still laid out and we’re still receiving about 1,500 people a day,” Jonathan Lines, a Republican, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Tuesday.

“We’ve got about 4,000 in lockup and they continue to come.”

The end of Title 42, the Trump-era pandemic-related restriction on migrants seeking asylum on the southern border, would have exacerbated issues Yuma has been dealing with, Lines said.

The migrants waiting to be processed are being held in a facility that is meant for 800 people.

Lines believes the policy’s continuation caused some migrants over the weekend to become more impatient with the process.

“We’ve had a lot of runners that as soon as they cross, take off into the community,” Lines said.

With the backlog of migrants and the weather heating up, Lines is worried the area’s emergency response system being strained.

He said 21 people this year have died to heat-related issues while trying to cross the border.

First responders have also had trouble differentiating between calls for help and those that simply need a ride from the border, according to Lines.

“We just want to warn people that the desert is particularly dangerous during the summer and that they should not attempt it,” Lines said.

“Many people just don’t understand that it’s 20 to 30 miles and there’s no resources, no water.”

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Yuma border migrant backlog an ongoing problem despite Title 42 extension, official says